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Spring events blooming in Los Angeles Alvin Ailey, Stephen Varble and more By JOHN PAUL KING

As we emerge from the not-so-chilly chill of another Los Angeles winter, it’s time to look ahead to the cultural highlights of the coming spring in our fabulous city. Fortunately, the Blade is here to give you a rundown of the must-see events of the season. The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble: Genderqueer Performance Art of the 1970s, Photographs by Greg Day, March 1-May 17 (ONE Gallery, West Hollywood) In costumes made from street trash, food waste and stolen objects, Stephen Varble (American,1946–1984) took to the streets of 1970s New York City to perform his “Gutter Art,” making the recombination of signs for gender a central theme. At the pinnacle moment of Varble’s public performances, the photographer Greg Day (American, 1944-) captured the inventiveness and energy of his genderqueer costume confrontations. Together, Varble and Day worked to preserve the radical potential of Gutter Art for the future. This exhibition, with its focus on their collaboration, explores the ways in which Varble’s disruptive guerilla performance art has lived on primarily through Day’s vibrant photographs, that captured his inventive costumes, transformed trash and public confrontations. For more information, visit “Rotterdam,” March 28-April 7 (Kirk Douglas Theatre) Last year’s Skylight Theatre Company production of this smart and sensitive comedy by Jon Brittain was a runaway hit that enjoyed an extended run at the company’s small space in Los Feliz. Now, it’s being remounted as part of Center Theatre Group’s third annual “Block Party LA” at the Kirk Douglas, celebrating local Los Angeles theater at its best. On New Year’s Eve, 2018, in the city of the title, Alice has finally found the courage to come out to her parents as a lesbian. But before she has the chance, her girlfriend, Fiona, reveals that she has always identified as a man and now wants to live as one,

sending their relationship into a tailspin. A bittersweet comedy with deeply human characters, both flawed and hilarious, “Rotterdam” poses powerful questions about love and identity. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, April 3-7 (The Music Center) The legendary dance company celebrates 60 years of performance art with both classic Ailey works and contemporary pieces including Ailey’s masterpiece “Revelations.” There will be a Dance Talk, a preperformance discussion with members of the company, one hour before each performance. The discussion will conclude with a mini dance lesson from “Revelations” taught by a member of the company. Tickets range from $34-$125. For more details, visit Turn Back Time: The Best of the Last 40 Years of Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, April 6-7 (Alex Theatre, Glendale) The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles may have faced some challenges of late, but that hasn’t stopped them from going ahead with their mission to change hearts and minds with music – just as they have done for the last 40 years by connecting hundreds of thousands through song. This spring, they will be celebrating the past 40 years with some of their favorite musical memories at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Join GMCLA as they reminisce and rally, looking back on significant moments and memorable achievements, and looking forward to what the next 40 years have in store. Some crowd favorites they’ll be bringing back include “True Colors,” “Creep” and “The Trolley Song.” Whether you’ve been in the audience for years or recently discovered the chorus, you’ll want to join this historic pillar of Los Angeles’ LGBTQ community as they turn back time to highlight the hits from their first 40 years. Rick Castro, Fetish King: Seminal Photographs 1986 – 2019, April 6-27 (Tom of Finland Foundation’s TOM House) A powerful and imaginative figure that emerged

in the Los Angeles underground during the late ‘80s, Rick Castro has been dubbed “the fetish king” by all that know him. His clients over the years have included Bette Midler, David Bowie, Herb Ritts, Joel-Peter Witkin and magazines like Interview, GQ, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. The artist’s sex positive imagery is darkly erotic, elegant, and at times, sinister. His photographs are characterized by potent and visceral tableaux, tinged with sadomasochism, leather and sexual pleasure. He continues his pictorial career and fascination with lust, desire and kink producing elegant portraiture of celebrated artists and the demi-monde. For more information visit TCM Classic Film Festival, April 11-April 14 (Multiple Venues) Call us old-fashioned, but there’s always been a strong connection between the queer community and the big screen classics of an era long gone by. This must-visit for classic film buffs showcases four days of beloved movies—from the iconic to forgotten gems—courtesy of Turner Classic Movies, who are celebrating their 10th annual festival and their 25th anniversary delivering these time-honored favorites into your living room. During this year’s festival, themed “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” a robust lineup of films – from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” to “Steel Magnolias” – will be seen the way they were meant to be, on the big screen, in some of Hollywood’s most famous movie houses, including the Chinese and Egyptian Theaters. It’s a fourday happening sure to be full of many-splendored moments, where you can revel in romance and obsessions, delight in faithful friendships and surrender to the enduring allure of the silver screen with fellow classic movie lovers – and be on the lookout for celebrity guests, as well. For more information visit “Falsettos”, April 16-May 19 (Ahmanson Theatre) There’s a reason Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson

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